The Great Goblin Hunt

A combination of a small return to convention-going, Grogmeet at my local FLG Fanboy 3 in November, and the need for a gripping, exciting kick-off scenario for the next Season of OpenQuest Thursday, which sees our rough borderlands troubleshooters moving in noble circles at the Imperial Court, drove me to write this upcoming adventure.

The Pitch

Goblins running wild in the Empire of Gatan has always been a problem. Either feral packs from population explosions in their native lands or organised raiding bands led by their Orc brethren, from the Goblinoid Strongholds beyond the Empire’s Border. Ten years ago, Emperor Ilmar got so fed up with them, that he made an Imperial

Proclamation that was read out by town criers across the Empire. The proclamation classified Goblins as vermin and decreed by law that landowning nobles, should appoint a Master of the Goblin Hunt whose job is to coordinate the local peasants in efforts to exterminate any Goblin infestation found upon their lands. A bounty was placed upon the collection of Goblin heads, and the formation of a professional class of Goblin Hunter was encouraged throughout the Empire.

Every year the best Goblin Hunters, sponsored by the five Dukes of Gatan, assemble at Castle Uprising in the Imperial Heartlands, near the Imperial Hunting Forest. After a great feast, attended by the Emperor, they enter the Valley of the Hunt, which has been carefully stocked with Goblins and other related creatures.  Whoever brings back the most goblin heads at the end of the day, is declared the winner of the Great Goblin Hunt.

This year your band of adventurers have been invited to join the Fifth Annual Goblin Hunt, for the glory of your sponsoring noble and your personal financial gain.

This adventure is about getting the player characters to interact with the nobles of the setting, including the big movers and shakers, in a way that doesn’t involve lots of talking and chewing scenery. As previously stated, OpenQuest is a Fantasy Adventure Game.

So what better way to get both the intrigue and action by involving the characters in an Imperial Hunt.

Two castle visits came to mind as the inspiration for the adventure locations in the adventure.

Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire. Whole sections of the castle were built around providing the Kings of England with accommodation and entertainment on their grand procession of the Kingdom and getting a bump up in power at court. It was a tactic that worked and eventually saw the family relocate further down the road at Chatsworth House and being in the Royal inner circle of confidants and advisers. The castle is right next to the castle is a deer hunting run that was reserved for the nobles use.

Castle Rising in Norfolk. I’ve known this Norman castle from visits to my grandparents in my childhood. It has only been recently with family holidays that I’ve learnt about its history as a Hunting Lodge created by the Norman Earl who built the castle and created Deer Hunting land around it.

As well as the obvious thrill of the hunt itself, some other themes are working in this adventure.

Are Goblins evil or a victim of misrepresentation? The adventure deals with a genocidal hunt against Goblins. When I wondered what the Nobles would be hunting, I decided to push the boat out, this being a fantasy game and have Goblins as the target. In the Empire of Gatan setting, Goblins are presented as evil enemies, typical of most fantasy settings. But this adventure puts that under the microscope, and there’s evidence in the adventure about the true nature of Goblins being completely different to what the characters have been taught.

Exploration of blood sports. As well as practicalities of how the hunt is conducted, there will be opportunities to see in action and get involved in the various social games of one-upmanship that are being played out between the nobles, for whom its merely part of a social calendar of events throughout the year and an important chance to impress the Emperor who is in attendance. Also how species have been created specifically to provide sport for the hunters.

The Class System. The Hunt is conducted in a valley where peasant farmers lived before they were relocated by the Emperor’s decree to live around the Castle that is the Great Master of the Goblin Hunt’s seat. Therefore, those peasants are still about and look on unhappily as their Noble masters feast at the castle in preparation for the Great Goblin Hunt, which is the sole reason for them being kicked off their ancestral lands.

As with all my convention games, this will get a write-up and be published at some point, probably as part of a book about the Empire of Gatan that I’m planning called “Dark Corners of the Empire”.

Mix and Match

Graham Spearing was the editor of the first edition of OpenQuest, and there’s a lot of design choices that carry through even to OQ3 that came from discussions with him. He knows his onions when it comes to rules 🙂

 I pulled off my relatively new OpenQuest (OQ) 3rd edition, that takes from the Legend SRD and delivers a more streamlined expression of the game. Truth is, I’m probably looking for something just a little different from OQ, but it can form a substantial base for my game.

He goes on to give some detail about what other D100 games he’d use to make his dream version of D100.


OpenQuest 3rd Edition now on General Release!

With the end of the Great OpenQuest Mailout to backers and pre-orders yesterday, I am proud to announce that OpenQuest 3rd Edition is now generally available from D101 Games web store in both pdf only and Print + Pdf bundle.

I’m still in the process of setting up the product on and and will let people know when I’ve released them via my Twitter account, @d101games, later this week/early next.

Gorgon by Dan Barker

OpenQuesssst itsss out.

The Great OpenQuest Mail-Out

At the time of writing, I’m about 2/3 the way of posting out all the signed and sent copies.  I would be at 100% but the collection guy from the Royal Mail didn’t show up yesterday (again), but come Monday whoooooooooooshh!

This is the current state of my hallway, which is all the North American (US + CA) and Rest of the World copies, just waiting there for Monday when they will go out.

All the high tier (OQ Patrons, Art Backer copies, various Masters) were sent out a couple of weeks ago, along with EU and UK copies. So it’s with great pleasure that I’ve been receiving tweets and posts from backers/pre-order people who put pictures of their books online. Here’s a quick gallery of them 🙂

Some of the OpenQuest books that have reached backers

Some of the OpenQuest books that have reached backers

One of the backers who blogs as Vorpal Mace got his earlier this week, and has posted his first impressions.

Finally, this is a quick flip through of the Signed and Sent version. I have a small surplus that I can offer to people. If you are interested I will put your email on a waiting list, and let you know when they are on sale via my website. Email me at

Proofs, Pdfs and Progress

[Cross posted from the OpenQuest Kickstarter, read the original here]

Hello, it may feel that nothing is happening on OQ, so here’s an update on what’s going on.

Update about the Printed versions (Print on Demand and Signed and Sent)

At the moment, it’s all about the proofs here at D101 HQ.

POD OQ + the Quickstart are still in the proofing process over at, but I’m anticipating the final proof to be with me end of this week, early next week. When it has, I’ll issue links to at-cost copies via Kickstarter Messenger.

Newt and POD book

Wayhey! Its the last POD proof looking all shiny.

Signed and Sent proofs have been signed off with the printers, so we’ve gone to print. I have an estimated delivery date of the 16th of June, so will start sending them out then.

Signed and Sent unbound proof and the POD Quick-start proof

There has been a couple of changes from what I had originally planned for the Signed and Sent version.

More Colour Plates. Instead of five colour plates, the book now has eight. It turns out I could either have colour plates individually placed throughout the book, but the binding would be glued, or grouped in a page count that is a multiple of four and keep the sown pages. Since I sold the print version on the fact that it would be sown pages, it was a no-brainer to throw in three classic Jon Hodgson OpenQuest covers (Life and Death, The Savage North, and the 1st Edition cover), taking the number of plates up to eight, and positioning them roughly half-way in the book between what could be considered the boundary between the player’s rules chapters and Referee only chapters.

The old vs new, Jon Hodgson’s Savage North covers. Proof’s of two of the colour plates for the Signed and Sent version.

An extra two pages of content have been added at the end of the book. The POD book requires a blank page at the end of the book for their printing process, which effectively means two pages. It turns out that the printed version, I can print on those two pages. So, I’ve inserted quick Religion write-ups for six dedicated religions for Empire of Gatan setting. The Five Emperors and the Imperial Mother. Now your players can have characters who follow a focused, dedicated religion, such as a War God (The General Silanous) or a Merchant Goddess (The Imperial Mother), rather than the pantheon style Imperial Way, which takes a little bit of magic from each of the deities in that pantheon, they now can.

The two extra pages of content at the end of the Signed and Sent version.

Updated OpenQuest Pdf

During the proofing process, there’s been a few changes. The ebook pdf has been updated and is available for redownloading from your account if you previously downloaded it. If you bought the book via the pre-order, the latest version is available via the download link that was sent in the email after you purchased the book.

Other Progress

  • Catching the Wrym, gets playtested this weekend at 7 Hills an online gaming convention. I anticipate this reaching 1stDraft shortly after. It’s been a bit of a monster, being a good 30+ pages at present.
  • The OpenQuest Companion is nearing first draft.
  • OpenQuest SRD has been put together and will be sent out to editorial soon.
    The OpenQuest Releases page has been updated with all the recent statuses and eta of releases for all the stretch goals.

OpenQuest Releases page
I should be contacting you again shortly when the POD version becomes available, and when the signed and sent version lands here at D101 HQ and the great mail out begins.

All the best,

:O) Newt

OpenQuest is a Fantasy Adventure Roleplaying Game

One of the things that I picked up on when I got the first print proof of the POD version of OpenQuest 3rd Edition was that on the title page, I missed out on the subtitle:

Fantasy Adventure Roleplaying Game

It’s been on every edition of OQ, so I put it back in, but I took some time out to think why this was important to me.

The short version.

Now that’s out of the way and everyone’s calmed down, I shall go into detail.

Sure, OQ has mythologies, settings with a sense of history and politics, creatures with history/background, but it’s all ingredients, fuel even, to get an entertaining adventure. You see, in OQ, the characters go on Quests, which are adventures. Not simulations or re-enactments of everyday life in some imagined fantasy Medieval/Dark Ages. The players want to feel the thrill of a sword connecting with an enemy, a spell making short work of a difficulty, or to see the results of a clever bit of conversation with a non-player character. Even seeing a character make a triumphant comeback after failing is all part of the expectation of a good adventure. It’s all about keeping things moving along at a quick pace (or as the Smart Party says, “You can never have enough pace”). And you don’t get that with overly complex fiddly rules or social structures in place in the game.

I bore this in mind as a primary design goal when I wrote the main rulebook, and I have kept it in mind as I finish the rules and articles in the OpenQuest Companion.

So that’s why OQ is a Fantasy Adventure Roleplaying Game, and it is important to state that upfront right at the beginning of the book on the title page.